How do you know you have an enduring marriage to a highly committed mate?
When, at 85-years-of-age, she beats up a moose for you.
I write about how to have a fulfilling, lasting marriage in my book, Man on the Run. I use the term “long-married” (from Galway Kinnell’s poem, “When Making Love We Hear Footsteps”) to describe a couple that has done the hard work of keeping their vows to one another, come rain or shine, sickness or health,…moose or no moose.
I heard a story this week that perfectly illustrates what long-married couples are capable of doing for one another. On January 22, 2012, the Anchorage Daily News reported that Dorothea Taylor (85) was waiting for her husband, George, in a pickup. George was exercising their dogs in the fresh, crisp Alaskan air when a moose spotted him. George told the paper:
“He was way off. He spotted me, and he started to come right after me. So I was trying to get to the truck. But I didn’t make it.”
Dorothea had been married to this bush pilot from Willow, Alaska for far too long to let a 1,500-pound deer (moose are the largest animal in the deer family) make her single. The 5-foot tall woman raced up to the black beast, which was in the process of stomping George into the tundra, and with a shovel she’d grabbed from the pickup, she pounded the moose with unbridled fury.
She later told the paper:
“When it turned and started to go off slowly, I hit it with everything I had.”
George had several broken ribs. Dorothea was unharmed. She replied to the incident by saying:
“Well, we’ve helped each other out of problems before. This just happened to be the latest.”
How much, and for how long, do you have to love someone before you will throw all caution and self-preservation to the wind and charge an animal that out-weighs you by about two-thirds of a ton in order to save your spouse?
There’s only one way to arrive at that answer—stay committed to reaching long-married status with your spouse. Oh, and take frequent trips to Alaska together in your old age…with a shovel.
For more information on Zeke and his writing visit www.zekepipher.com.